Little Fighters’ Cork surgeon lauded by peers

THE Cork surgeon who oversaw the successful separation of the Benhaffaf twins has received an honorary fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

Internationally-renowned paediatric surgeon Edward Kiely led the successful separation surgery procedure on the Co Cork Benhaffaf twins,

Hassan and Hussein, at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London last April.

He was presented with the RCSI’s highest accolade at a ceremony on Saturday night by Professor Eilis McGovern, president of the RCSI, at the conclusion of the institution’s annual Charter Day meetings which are held to commemorate the RCSI’s establishment by Royal Charter on February 11, 1784.

As part of the Charter Day meetings Mr Kiely delivered the 86th College lecture, on The Surgery of Conjoined Twins.

He has, in total, taken part in 22 separation surgeries for conjoined twins.

Born in December 2009, Hassan and Hussein were separated on April 7 last following a 14-hour operation.

The surgery featured a multi- disciplinary team from Great Ormond Street Hospital including paediatric surgeons, paediatric anaesthetists and plastic surgeons, while expert cardiologists and support staff were also on standby. Four surgical teams were available, each working on a phased, rota basis. After a successful recovery the boys returned home to Cork in May.

Hassan and Hussein are the first conjoined twins born to an Irish mother since 2005.

Commenting on the boys operation, Mr Keily said last October: “The pair [Hussein and Hassan] have done extraordinarily well and we are delighted to have them leave us so soon in such good shape. The boys should grow up normal in every way.”

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